The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Looks at Lupus

Lupus is a complex and mysterious disorder. It arises when the cells that are supposed to protect your body from disease mistakenly assault your own healthy cells and tissues. This attack from within can damage your joints, skin and most other parts of your body. NIH-funded scientists are working to uncover the causes of lupus and find better ways to diagnose and treat the disease.

“Just about anyone can get lupus, but it mostly affects young women. It can rob them of the prime years of their lives,” says NIH’s Dr. Mark Gourley, an expert on lupus and related disorders. The disease often strikes between the ages of 15 and 44. Lupus afflicts about 9 times more women than men. For unknown reasons, African American women are at especially high risk.